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Author Archives: Jill
Ahoy there. You’re anxious about the transfer of television to all digital, aren’t you? I know I am, and it’s causing me not so excellent ulcers, not so excellent at all.
So it seems that airwaves will cease their relentless humming and be transferred into ground waves through cables of digital nature. It makes me sad a little, to think that you can longer get a shitty tv and a shitty antenna and then watch some shitty Spanish language soap opera through mild static. Such nostalgia for bad reception and honest to goodness programming. They just don’t make it like they used to. Now everyone’s all hopped up on reality and clarity and definition, as if what we see everyday through our eyes isn’t real and clear and defined enough. Maybe I WANT to squint every once and a while! COME ON!
Anyway, the abandonment of analogue for digital got me thinking, what exactly are they going to do with all of that airspace? Well they’re going to use it for emergency services and public stuff, but I like to think that’s not really going to happen and what they’re really going to do with the waves is just kind of forget about them. Which means, dear reader (me), that we will have open to us a veritable cornucopia of uncharted air-waters to pillage and plunder with our unique and artistic expressions.
Ah the pirating of airwaves is a dirty, dangerous (not to mention difficult) undertaking. Since stations are making the switch, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be turning off their analogue systems, which means that for this to work we’ll have to build our own transmitter. I don’t know how to do this, but I bet somewhere, somehow there are instructions. Instructions that one day will be followed.
To get motivated for our eventual take-over of the abandoned airwaves let’s take a trip down airwave-piracy-memory-lane….
On April 26, 1986, a man calling himself Captain Midnight, interrupted HBO’s transmission with the following:
It stayed on air for about five minutes and the words on the color bars are as follows:
FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT
NO WAY !
[SHOWTIME/MOVIE CHANNEL BEWARE!]
Way to make a statement Captain Midnight.
Chicago, November 22, 1987. There you are in your living room watching Dr. Who: Horror of Fang Rock (apparently I really need to start watching Dr. Who) then this:
I don’t really know what one can say about that. Flyswatter’s my favorite part…
Throughout the remainder of the 80s and 90s there were a couple more broadcast interruption incidents one where some hoo-ha from the Christian Broadcasting Network interrupted Playboy TV’s transmission. I’m not quite sure what he did with that transmission, but it sounds dumb so that’s all we’ll say on that matter.
In other countries, like the Old Soviet Union, transmission interruption was a pretty regular occurrence due to people’s desire to see non-government TV. In Poland in 1985 four astronomers hijacked a TV signal and broadcast a plea for the people to boycott the upcoming election. And in 2006, Isreal hijakced Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV and showed propaganda, including the bombing of targets in Lebanon with words like “your day is coming.” Egad.
While our foreign neighbors use the piracy of airwaves for political purposes, good ole Americans keep it real with disembodied heads and complaints about pricing plans. And of course lets not forget our most recent foray into the fires of Television piracy…..
Hey there. So how about that Super Bowl, huh? Some pretty great footballin, it was excellent really pretty excellent (if you’re into that sort of thing and if you are, that’s great there’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking or even loving football, and I don’t mean to talk down to you either, not that I think I’m talking down to you, but I just think it’s important that YOU know I fully support your passions be they football foozball or murderball)
I don’t really have anything to write about so I’m going to write about nothing, empty space, the void, the vacuum. What amazes me and starts me on a weird and unusual line of thinking is this: the expanding virtual space into (onto?) which things can be saved, and how said space seems to be shrinking in real space but growing in virtual space. Take, for instance, this computer on which I type. Back in the day I would have been delighted to have, say, 1 gigabyte of hard disk space and now I have a whopping 200 gigs. And this, dear friends, is just the beginning. I now know words like terabyte (1000 gigabytes) and soon my lexicon will employ words like petabyte (1000 terabytes) and whatever will come after petabytes. I’m so baffled by where all this space originates and it’s ever-growing nature.
I sometimes wake in the middle of the night, sit upright, and imagine myself being pulled down into the dark bottomless void that is cyberspace. Will the space ever reach it’s limit? Will it begin contracting instead of expanding like the universe? (Is the universe still expanding? Have we hit the shrinking stage yet? We’ll tackle that another day)
Thinking about the end of space, cyberspace to be more specific, makes me feel like I’m living in weird reality that doesn’t exist. Step away from the hard drive. Get your photos developed. Buy CDs? Or even better yet, records? Stuff?! STUFF?!? What’s happening to all of our stuff? It’s being turned into ones and zeros. Maybe that’s best, maybe when the space gets flushed we’ll all be without stuff, just like John Lennon wanted.
GA – ROSS! Jesus Christ, put a lid on that thing. Do you have no sense of smell, of humanity, of MERCY?! Please! Seal it up! This is not excellent not excellent at ALL.
Ok, I know, I know, you can’t really smell anything, nor can I, but I can smell my imagination percolating away, perck perck percking! Smell is an incredibly strong sense. It can trigger memories, nausea, happiness, sadness, or homicidal compulsions. In fact, after some research on the old internet I found out very interesting things, very interesting things indeed.
Firstly, preferences of smell are learned and different for each individual. It’s not like taste where when you’re born you already have a preference for taste due to buds and chemical reactions and, you know, science and babies. But that’s neither here nor there. So yes, when you smell something while experiencing pleasure, pain, stomach upsetedness, or murder, your brain forges a link between that smell and that circumstance, making the two linked forever. For all eternity. Until the end of time and future space.
How has scents’ ability to bring back painful or happy memories or even induce strong feelings of fear or disgust been used? It turns out that governments caught wind (right? WIND? CAUGHT WIND??!) of this and decided to employ it in warfare. The first known instance of this experimentation was in World War II when the Office of Strategic Services developed a scent to be carried by the French Resistance. The scent was packaged in a pocket atomizer and distributed to French Resistance living in German occupied France. The idea was that with one squirt of the scent, called Who Me?, the French could embarrass the German officers so horribly that they would abandon their posts and go screaming back to Germany. Sounds highly unlikely right? Yes absolutely, it was highly unlikely, mainly because it turns out that Who Me? is quite hard to control and contain. The squirter could easily become the squirtee and then everyone just ended up smelling like the most horrible shit ever unleashed in Europe. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), Project Who Me? was deemed an utter failure and the French went back to smelling of croissants and cigarettes, while the Germans remained reeking of borscht and sauerkraut.
Well that was over sixty years ago, what’s being used now? I want to know and I want to know bad! Turns out smell has kind of reached a dead end for being used in warfare. In the 70s the government did some tests: hollowed out chicken eggs and filled them with chemical compounds that stank of shit. These eggs were then lobbed at enlisted men to see how they would react. God bless the US Military! It was discovered that people usually adapt to a smell within fifteen minutes of exposure, so for all practical purposes using the ole’factory in warfare became kind of moot. Bummer. Still, the idea of the army bankrolling scientists to create the most horrible odors the world has ever smelt is hilarious and fascinating. To me… yes me… who me?
Why hello! My, it’s been a long time since we last conversed, hasn’t it? It’s good to see your face, no I take that back – it’s excellent, REALLY excellent to see your face.
So as you may know, since you are me and I am you (thank you Beatles), I was in New Mexico working on the Obama campaign for the past oh, well not so recent past now (thank you unemployment) five weeks. While I was there I found out about a number of things. Some of those things being that while people may be living in abject poverty, in their single wide trailers in the middle of nowhere — poverty, healthcare, jobs no no no none of these items are on their lists of most important issues. NAY! Never! You know what matters? You know what really matters more than any of those other things that have a DIRECT effect on my life? DO YOU KNOW WHAT MATTERS!?!?!?! Yeah… here you go….
That’s right, there it is in all of its majesty. Yes, that’s why I’ll cast my vote. God I hate fetuses. Feti? Fettuccine? I’m hungry.
Ok, obviously I’ve struck out on a tangent. Abortion was never my intended subject. But it always ends on abortion, doesn’t it? Sigh. Ok, so one other thing I noticed was that when I would make my snide, sarcastic comments about how there are SOOO many Jews in New Mexico, someone would inevitably say “actually, there are a lot of Jews here in New Mexico. But it’s very strange and very secret. They’re SECRET Jews.”
Secret Jews! WOW! So it turns out after some more of my hard-hitting research (typing “secret Jew Southwest” into Google) I found this:
In the spring of 1492, Jews in Spain were given two choices: convert to Catholicism or leave the country. Many left. Many others simply abandoned their religion for Catholicism.
But a few of those who converted did so only publicly, continuing to practice Judaism in secret.
Modern scholars have found a few communities of so-called “crypto-Jews” that survived in both Iberia and the New World for centuries, hiding their true religious identity from their neighbors and the Catholic church.
So, the Secret Jews of the Southwest are called Crypto-Jews and they’re an odd hybrid of Catholicism and repressed Judaism. Sounds like a lovely slice of guilt-pie, doesn’t it?
How interesting to be a secret Jew in the Southwest. I wonder if there were any Jew gunslingers like Hebrew Haas, Wyatt Earpenstein or Doc Hudsongold. They would while away their days on the desert chasing fair shiksas and fighting off unjust goyish Sheriffs…
This is the Southwest Mel Brooks must of had in mind….
Ah! Dammit, this computer is freaking out. Stupid computer, if only you could learn from your mistakes, if only you were somehow adaptive and intelligent, that would be excellent, really excellent.
Fear not, dear computer, your brain may be just around the corner! Yesterday scientists at the University of Reading in the UK developed the first robot controlled by biological brain. His name is Gordon, and he avoids walls. How does Mr. Robo-Gordon work? Well these smart scientists removed brain cells from rat fetuses and put them in an enzyme bath. Then they hooked the the enzyme bath up to this “multi-electrode array” which acts as the conduit between living tissue and the machine. The “brain” sends “impulses to drive the wheels of the robot, and receives impulses delivered by sensors reacting to the environment. Because the brain is living tissue, it must be in a special temperature-controlled unit and communicates with its “body” via a Bluetooth radio link.”
The people behind the development of Gordon say that being able observe how brain matter reacts to learning and storing data will give them valuable insight into human brain development and help them better understand and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Sure, that’s exactly what they WANT us to believe, but really, these British “scientists” are being secretly bankrolled by the US Military to develop weapons for 21st century warfare. Who do they think we are? We know that this lovable, smart robot will not become the real life version of Pixar’s Wall-E.
Nay! Gordon will most likely evolve into James Cameron’s killing machine, which will eventually lead to the destruction of life as we know it!
Or perhaps, after spending some time with humans and learning how to love Gordon 2.0 will turn from a killing machine to a Automaton with attitude!
Whichever road Gordon may take (Damn you beef stew! Damn you! Why are you here I smell you, why why why?!?!) robots have become smart, which means that soon computers will be controlling us, and then we’ll wake up in a tube on embryonic fluid and realize that the world is just green flowing characters and now, we have to rely on some dipshit to save us, but really he’ll turn our salvation into a three part suckfest. Oh, how I miss the 20th century.
Info and quotes found here: http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,24181170-5014108,00.html
Blurgh. Hi. How are you feeling? Good? Any new news? How do you get your news? The internet. Yeah I guess that’s pretty excellent, really pretty excellent.
I prefer to get my news through telegram. That’s right the OLD internet. Let’s take a trip back in time to the beginning of telecommunications!
Interestingly, the telegraph was simultaneously invented in both the UK and the US in 1837. In the UK, the first commercial telegraph was constructed by Sir William Fothergill Cooke and used in the Great Western Railway in Britain. It was patented in 1837. AND, Mr. Samuel Morse and his buddy Alfred Vail constructed the the electrical telegraph and developed Morse Code in 1837 in the States. They sent their first message across two miles of wire.. and the message was “A patient waiter is no loser.” Here, here I think we can all agree to that. Right? Absolutely.
**You may hear that the first telegraphed message was “What has God wrought” however, my sources (WIKIPEDIA) disagree**
(Damnit, someone is eating beef stew again! Such a rich disgusting smell and just when I was getting all excited about my telegrams. Pish aaaah. Ok, focus, ignore… tangible… reeking… warm smelling… air)
So telegrams! After being developed and implemented in both the US and Europe in the late 1830s the telegram went international. And even better, the first transoceanic telegram took place 150 years ago (two days ago) – August 16, 1858. The first telegram sent from Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan read as follows:
“The Queen desires to congratulate the President upon the successful completion of this great international work, in which the Queen has taken the deepest interest. The Queen is convinced that the President will join with her in fervently hoping that the electric cable, which now connects Great Britain with the United States, will prove an additional link between the two places whose friendship is founded upon their common interests and reciprocal esteem. The Queen has much pleasure in thus directly communicating with the President, and in renewing to him her best wishes for the prosperity of the United States.”
I wonder how often the Queen did indeed drop the old Prez a line and express her excitement for the US’s renewed prosperity. Or do you think she’s one of those people who says they’ll call and never does?
Here’s a map of the electronic telegraph lines as of 1891.
I found out that you can still send a telegram not via Western Union though. It turns out that Western Union sent its last telegram on January 27, 2006. (Check it out) Sigh. However, you can still send telegrams through International Telegram, which uses Western Union’s original cabled network. So if you feel like you’ve got something to say, but don’t want to say it with an email, phone call, fax, text, IM, or overnight package, then head to International Telegram and spread the news.
Hello. What’s new? Uh huh…. Really? Wow, that’s wonderful! I’m so glad to hear that you’re making such positive life changes and really embracing your art! I always thought you had excellent, really excellent talent.
And speaking of talent, what better way to find talent then by heading over to YouTube.com and checking out what humanity is up to? Ah, here’s something interesting…. let’s talk about it.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the Michel Gondry movie Be Kind Rewind, if you haven’t, it’s not really worth watching as it sucks, but if you have then at least you’ll know what I’m talking about. Anyway, in the movie these two mo-mos through a series of odd and badly explained events are forced to recreate some of Hollywood’s most well-known movies using only their imaginations, local resources and a cheap camcorder. Once a movie has been remade they dub it as being Sweded. So for instance, there’s Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters Sweded! For whatever reason, most likely boredom, I was cruisin’ the youtube and came across a treasure trove of Sweded movies! It turns out that Be Kind Rewind actually hosted a “How to Swede” contest, hence all of these wonderful videos.
I encourage you to watch these videos, as they are a testament to the wonders of imagination and creativity (and they’re only two minutes long)!
Jurassic Park SWEDED!
Silence of the Lambs (Trailer) SWEDED!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory SWEDED!
Star Wars SWEDED!
The Shining SWEDED!
Lord of the Rings Trilogy SWEDED!
Oh! I didn’t see you there! Why hello! How are you? It sure is a lovely day outside. I’m really looking forward to walking home. Stretching the old legs will feel excellent, really excellent.
Yes, I will be making the trek from work to home, and I will encounter wonderful things along the way. I plan on taking the sunniest route possible. I also find myself tempted to take off my shirt and just cruise the streets; unfortunately my modesty requires I leave on my undershirt. I have a feeling that by the time I leave here, however, the fog will have rolled in and I will need my shirt, anyway. Sigh. What kind of summer is this?! One where you have to wear shirts?! Gah. GAH! I defy you foggy summer! I DEFY YOU!
Ok, enough smiting…moving on… yes Walking! Glorious walking! How lucky I am to live in place where I can walk from work to home. Sure it will take me about an hour, but just think of all the encounters I’ll have along the way. I’ll probably smell plenty of urine,
and see countless kinds of people,
Maybe I’ll stop and get a drink? What kind of drink?
A bubble tea with tapioca?
A Veitnamese ice coffee?
Mexican Coke in a bottle?
A tall boy of Bud Light?
Then I’ll be off, up the hills I’ll charge, through the brightly flagged streets of the Castro
and down the slopes of the lower Haight.
Oh look, an open air produce market!
How convenient! I need to buy some tomatoes for eating
and some fruit for snacking.
I wanted grapes earlier and now here they are!
Thank you kind shop owner, here’s your money and off I go! Walking!
Oh! The bike shop just called. Looks like I’ll be riding home after all….
Hello friend. Slow news day? Yeah, right! There’s a new war on, the Olympics are happening as I type, and both Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes died over the weekend! SO not excellent, not really excellent at all (well except for the Olympics, which are excellent, really excellent)
In order to deal with all of this drama, sadness, and athleticism, I’ve decided to post something I wrote a while ago. You may have read it before, and if that is the case, then I urge you to read it again and enjoy!
Sometimes I see old people and I think to myself “what’s that? What’s that flap right under your chin? Why does it sway in the breeze? Will I be lucky enough to have a flap like that someday?”
My mom once told me that the chin flap was God’s way of telling you that you will fly to heaven. When your judgment day comes, you will look to the sky and let your flap carry you.
When you reach the pearly gates St. Peter will pull out his sickle and slice your chin flap away. Then your chin flap will be tossed into a bin with other chin flaps. This bin will be collected by one of the angels, Gabriel I think, and then Gabriel will fly the chin flap bin to the Heaven Knows Factory.
No human knows what happens in this factory (at least that’s what my mom told me), but some believe the chin flaps are deep fried, lightly salted and fed to God via Jesus. Others say the chin flaps are melted down in a creamy broth and molded into babies, which are then delivered by mechanical stork to India. That’s where babies come from: India.
All I know is that when I am old enough to have a chin flap I will raise my head to the sky and let the wind take me to the wonderful afterlife. Should my sacred piece of flesh come back either as a beautiful Indian baby or a salty treat for our Lord and Savior, I will know that I lived a just righteous life.
Hallowed be our chin flaps and Jesus.
OH YES! Man, that lunch was aces! Pure aces! Mmmmmm… hot, spicy, salty and tinge of sweetness makes the perfect broth; then throw in fried tofu, fresh vegetables, rice noodles, fried garlic, fresh basil and a squeeze of lime juice. Ah! It’s so excellent, really excellent!
Soup! GLORIOUS SOUP! Pho, really, but not really because traditional Pho has sliced rare beef in it, and that’s not what I eat, although I’m sure authentic pho is delicious. Pho has a nice history though, well not really nice since it was born out of the occupation of Vietnam by the French and the Chinese, but it is a fun hodge-podge of cultures similar to ingredients in a bowl – a bowl of HISTORY, which makes soup that tastes like happiness. Soup that tastes like happiness?! Pho’s history can’t be all bad, right?! RIGHT!?!?! So here’s your fun little pho history lesson: (I’ll use quotes so it’s not like I’m plagiarizing)
“Some theorize it was the French who triggered pho, popularizing the use of bones and lesser cuts of beef to make broth. After all, in a society that wasted nothing, what was one to do with all the bones carved from biftecks? In fact, they believe perhaps it was first created when Vietnamese cooks learned to make pot au feu for their French masters. The name pho, they suspect, might have even come from feu. But others argue that while the French can take credit for popularizing beef, it was actually the Chinese who inspired the dish with ingredients like noodles, ginger and anise. Then there are still others who claim it was the Chinese, and the Chinese alone, who instigated this culinary wonder.“
Fascinating, no? Yes. The “pho” I had for lunch is the veggie. It makes a nice filling, but not too heavy lunch, and of course, it tastes like happiness. I want to live in it, just have my life happen in that noodely, amazing soup. SOUP! I wish I had taken a picture of it so I could have shown it to you, but sadly, I did not. You know what this means though, don’t you? Yes, it means that I will scour the internet in search of the perfect pho – tographs! HEYO! (Give me a break; it’s Friday)
And Veggie Pho – The one I had for lunch looks way better.
Quote taken from this place: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1997/11/05/FD48543.DTL